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H-1B Registration Process for FY2024: Q&A

A group of people in a Q&A session raising their hands to ask questions

At the end of January 2023, USCIS published more information about the FY2024 H1b lottery and registration process. This year, the registration system will open on March 1, 2023 and will close on March 17, 2023. This means that all H-1b registrations will need to be submitted during this time period. This blog post will cover some common questions and answers about the H1b lottery and the H1b registration process.

Do all U.S. employers need to go through the H-1b registration process?

No, there is one category of employers (so called Cap-exempt employers), that don’t need to go through the H-1b lottery process every March, and these employers can sponsor an employee for an H-1b visa at any time throughout the year.

Can the prospective H-1b employee submit the H-1b Registration?

No, only an authorized representative of the employer or an attorney (on the employer’s behalf) can submit the H-1b registration. H-1b prospective employees cannot submit H1b registrations.

When does the H-1b registration need to be submitted?

The H-1b registration will need to be submitted in the period from noon EST on March 1 to noon EST March 17, 2023. If you miss the deadline, you will need to wait until next March to go through the lottery process.

How can the registration be submitted?

The H1b registration will need to be submitted online through MyUSCIS online account. The employers will be able to set up the account starting February 21, 2023 (When setting up the account, employers should select “H1b registrant” in the “type of account”).

If employers hire attorneys to submit the H1b registration on their behalf, they will still need to set up the account, but they will only need to verify the information in the registration the attorney prepares, they will not need to submit the registration themselves.

How much does it cost to file an H-1b registration?

Employer (or an attorney on employer’s behalf) will need to pay $10 filing fee for every H-1b registration submitted. If the H1b registration is selected and you will be submitting an actual H1b petition to USCIS, there will be additional filing fees associated with the filing.

When will the employers know whether their registration was selected?

USCIS indicated they plan to notify the selected registrants by March 31, 2023.

If our registration is selected, does it mean the worker can start working for the company immediately?

No. The selection in the lottery merely gives the U.S. company an opportunity to file an H1b petition. In the H1b petition, the US company will have to demonstrate that it meets all the H-1b criteria.

When will the H1b petition need to be submitted by, if selected in the lottery?

Based on the timeline for previous years, the employers will need to file the H1b petitions in the period from April 1 – June 30, but USCIS has not confirmed this timeline officially yet.

Our company’s registration was selected, but we changed our mind and don’t wish to sponsor the employee anymore. What should we do?

In this scenario, you don’t need to proactively notify USCIS that you don’t plan to file the H1b petition. You would simply not file the H-1b petition, and in case USCIS ever sends you anything and asks for reason why it was not filed, you should be able to explain the reason the H1b petition was not filed.

What is the Master’s cap? Can my registration be filed under the Master’s cap if I plan to earn the degree in Spring 2023?

Applicants who have earned a Master’s degree (or higher) from a U.S. University have a higher chance to be selected in the H1b lottery – their registration will go through the regular 65,000 H1b lottery + a special 20,000 H1b lottery for registrants who have a Master’s (or higher) degree from a U.S. University.

The Master’s degree should be either already earned at the time the H1b registration is submitted, or the prospective employee will have to earn the degree before the H1b petition will be filed (if you file the H1b registration through the Master’s cap lottery) (please see above, the deadline for filing h1b petitions for previous years was June 30, so the degree would need to be earned by this date). If the prospective employee does not get the degree before the H-1b petition is filed, the petition will be either rejected or denied (even if the applicant does have a Bachelor’s degree, as it was filed under the Master’s cap).

What’s the earliest start date the employee could start working for the company on an H-1b Status?

The earliest start date on the H-1b status would be October 1, 2023. If the prospective employee is currently in the U.S. on an OPT, he/she may qualify for a cap-gap extension.

Please see our post discussing the H-1b criteria here.

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